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The Enchanted Loom

The Enchanted Loom

By Suvendrini Lena
Translated by Dushy Gnanapragasam
Introduction by Sharryn Aiken & R. Cheran
Subjects: Science & Scientists, Theatre of War, (Im)migration, Family Life, South Asian Canadian Playwrights, Mental Health, Women Writers, Ontario Playwrights, Death, Grief & Loss, Translations
Casting: 3 f, 3 m
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9780369100313, 272 pages, November 2022
Ebook (PDF) : 9780369100320, November 2022
Ebook (EPUB) : 9780369100344, November 2022


  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Awards 2023


The Sri Lankan civil war has left many scars on Thangan and his family, most noticeably the loss of his eldest son and the crippling epileptic seizures brought on by his torture. As the final days of the war play out, the family bears witness from their new home of Toronto. Thangan’s other son Kanan comes home from a protest, shaken that someone referred to him by his brother’s name. His young daughter Kavitha innocently dances around with a mysterious pair of anklets that she found. And Thangan’s wife Sevi is consumed with feeling responsible for her broken family. Amidst the ongoing trauma, the family is faced with the possibility of Thangan undergoing neurological surgery. Will the surgery give them a chance to heal, or will it cause even more pain?

Presented in both English and Tamil, this poetic play is both medical and mystical, drawing a connection between trauma and memory that creates a stark reminder of loss, hope, family, and freedom. 


"The Tamil translation runs alongside the English beautifully, giving readers from the Tamil community an opportunity to compare Lena’s original on the left page and Gnanapragasam’s version on the right page. For the non-Tamil reader, it creates a fascinating rhythm–for example, when one English scene ends, the Tamil scene continues on the righthand pages, and the pages create a reverent silence and allow the Tamil words to take up space."

- Amanda L. Andrei

“The storytelling is sensitive and nuanced.”

- Keira Grant, Mooney on Theatre

“Lena makes some intriguing points that connect memory, fear, grief and physiology.”

- Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine

“It is an important story that needs to be told.”

- Alison Silveira, The Charming Modernist